The Barbados Association of Retired Persons’ (BARP) first Christmas concert lifted the spirits of the scores of people of all ages who attended the free event held last Friday night at Hastings Rocks, Christ Church.
It was a time to relax with family and friends and forget the otherwise gloomy year while soaking up the songs of Christmas.
While the young children ran around or played close to family, some adults were moved to dance where they stood, in front of benches and their chairs while others opted to sway as they sat all the while observing the COVID-19 protocol for wearing masks and socially distancing if they weren’t in the same group.
For about 90 minutes or so, with a break, the band of the Royal Barbados Police Force, conducted by Acting Director of Music, Senior Superintendent Andrew Lynch, delighted with seasonal favourites in different genres such as jazz, calypso, reggae, spouge, and the big band sound.
Their repertoire included Sleigh Ride, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Deck The Halls, Jazzin’ Merry Gentlemen, Noel, I Saw Three Ships, Jingle Bells, Someday At Christmas, Silent Night, A Christmas Portrait, We Three Kings, Rocking Around The Christmas Tree, Feliz Navidad, Natalie Burke’s version of Carolling, Carolling, The Merrymen’s Happy Birthday Jesus, and an original calypso, Christmas We Celebrating, written and sung by Constable Granville Maynard.
Constable Tanya Maughn’s renditions of Santa Baby and Do You Hear? were lovely as usual but her duet with Lynch of The Greatest Gift Of All was fantastic. He doesn’t sing very often but when he does, it is always a joy to hear him.
They also played the popular Maizie by Red Plastic Bag, twice. The first time it was to end their set and the second was at the request of BARP president Marilyn Rice-Bowen, who asked them cheekily seeing that “we’ve paid our debt to society”.
She thanked the sponsors for making the event possible, the Police Band for bringing joy to the audience and the audience for attending.
After obliging Rice-Bowen’s request, the band played We Wish You A Merry Christmas spouge-style, capping a wonderful performance. As they played, the audience showed appreciation by dancing. At the end, they cheered loudly and applauded robustly.
It really was a good evening out and the warm glow of red, green and clear lights around the trees and bandstand, coupled with the breeze and the waves lapping the shore, added to the ambience.
The BARP concert was the first in a series of four to spread cheer. (GBM)